The epic journey of a sibling pair as they trek 2,181 miles from Georgia to Maine on the Appalachia Trail.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

The Half Gallon Challenge

The day after Maryland, Hansel was moving a little slower than usual.  He didn't hit the trail as early as he usually does so he was only able to put in about 15 miles.  This ment he needed to do an extra five miles today.   Today also happens to be the day of The Half Gallon Challenge taking place in Pine Grove, PA.  Traditionally, thru-hikers were challenged to eat a half gallon of ice cream in celebration of completing half of the Appalachian Trail, but now the halfway point has moved slightly north due to relocations.  If a thru-hiker is able to finish the entire tub of ice cream, he gets it for free in addition to a picture of himself on the Wall of Recognition next to all the other members of the Half Gallon Club.

Hansel started the day earlier than he did yesterday and found the trail much easier.  Consequently, he actually ended up running parts of the trail.  At 4:15 he was already in Pine Grove and was gearing up to consume his half gallon.  He carefully picked his poison: chocolate chip cookie dough.  He had come prepared with his favorite topping: Nerd candies.  Lately Hansel has been obsessed with adding Nerds to his ice cream.  Knowing this, Julie had provided Hansel with an entire back of Nerds when he stayed with her in Virginia.  And now it was time to begin.



Hansel dug in.  Spoonful after spoonful he consumed his ice cream.  After 30 minutes he was nearing the bottom of the carton.  Right at the 40-minute mark Hansel astounded everyone watching when he proceeded to rip open the box and lick the very last drop of his cookie dough ice cream!  He did it!  The woman in the store said she had never seen anyone do that!   He was honored with a small wooden spoon that said "Ice Cream Challenge" on its handle.

In a log book kept at the store, past hikers have written about their experiences.  It seems as though certain flavors go down more easily than others.  For example, mint chip is apparently a bad choice.  You'll never make if you select the mint.  Cherry jubilee tends to go down pretty smoothly.  Chocolate chip cookie dough is usually pretty good.  Hansel's thru-hiking friend, Silver Fox, was another half gallon champion and had selected banana split, which he loved.

And now I shall provide you with some nutrition facts.

1/2 Cup of Hershey's Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough contains 190 calories and 11 grams of fat.

Now, Hansel ate a half gallon of the stuff.  There are 16 servings in a half gallon.  SIXTEEN!  I'll help you with the math on this one.  In a 40 minute sitting, Hansel consumed a total of 176 grams of fat and 3,040 calories!  And I'm not even counting the nerds he added!

But why stop here with the 176 grams of fat?  There is more to tell.  After Hansel finished licking the carton, he decided he was feeling pretty good and the day was young.  So, he strapped his pack onto his back and hit the trail.  He banged 8 more miles before hitting the shelter for the night.

All in all, it was a big day for Hansel.  He hike a total of 30.1 miles, he became a member of the Half Gallon Club, and he reached the half-way mark for his Appalachian Adventure!  Woohoo!!

Happy trails and sweet ice cream dreams!

Ripped open the carton and licked every last drop!

Half gallon of chocolate chip cookie dough with Nerds

Half Way Point!  

1 comment:

  1. Hansel, you were supposed to use those nerds to mark your path! Now you've just made yourself plumper for the witch!!